AN APPLICATION TO EXAMINE THE FORENSIC
PATHOLOGIST JOVAN RAJS.
The forensic pathologist
Jovan Rajs has for several years worked consistently to cast
suspicion on his previous working companion and pupil Teet Härm
and to get him charged for murder together with his doctor colleague
Thomas Allgén. Both the doctors have summarized their
criticism of Rajs in the following application to the National
Board of Forensic Medicine, Sweden's highest authority in the
area of forensic medicine.
The National Board of Forensic
Generaldirektör Ulf Westerberg
111 20 Stockholm
Application to examine two
forensic opinions (The Government Institute for Forensic Medicine
in Stockholm no. F 3726/1986 and F 4032/87) issued by the medical
legal expert Jovan Rajs and of the same medical legal expert's
actions during the investigation concerning the case of Catrine
The undersigned Thomas Allgén
and Teet Härm petition herewith that the National Board
of Forensic Medicine (NBFM) organise a forensic quality analysis
of the named forensic opinions in accordance with what is cited
foremost in points 2-3 and 8-11 below.
With reference to points 3-7,
12, 14-18 and 22 we request also that the NBFM decide whether
the medical legal expert Jovan Rajs has observed the professional
ethical rules, that ought to apply to a doctor operating within
the Swedish forensic medicine. There are especially two aspects
that we believe NBFM has cause to consider. The first one concerns
the question of whether a forensic expert, who has submitted
a post-mortem opinion in a suspected murder case, should be an
active driving force in the subsequent public investigation against
an alleged offender, especially when the suspect is a subordinate
colleague. The other aspect relates to the forensic expert's
collaboration with the media and his participation in the media
debate in a specific legal case where the medical legal expert
took part as an expert and in the ongoing debate described the
alleged perpetrators guilty, despite the fact that in the trials
they were declared innocent of the suspected murder.
Finally we wish with reference
especially to points 4-5, 12-18, 20 and 22 to receive an answer
to the question which authority has the ultimate responsibility
to see that a private person's basic legal rights are not set
aside, when a forensic expert in his work shows significant signs
of losing all professional objectivity but instead acts from
an inner conception.
1. For observation we attach
herewith the petition for review in the case of Catrine da Costa
(the so called cutting-up case), that was submitted a while ago
to the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court by Professor Emeritus
Anders Agell of Uppsala University, who has himself initiated
an examination of the case and has offered to be our attorney.
In the petition for review
there are shown to exist new circumstances that without doubt
would have revealed another way of looking at the question of
guilt by the courts had they been known at the
time of the trials against us. We have both, individually and
independently of each other, from the start declared ourselves
totally innocent of the charges brought against us. The circumstances
that are now submitted show that we have not only been judged
on incorrect grounds but it is also obvious that the stated forensic
opinions, that played such an important part in the judicial
judgements, are neither compatible with the forensic qualitative
criteria required nor with reasonable demands for the legal rights
of an individual.
That even Jovan Rajs's post-mortem
opinion in the cutting-up case is not acceptable has already
been assessed by the examination carried out by the National
Social Welfare Board's judicial council in 1988, at the request
of the Stockholm County Court. Also the forensic experts professor
Klaus Püschel (Hamburg) and professor Jörn Simonsen
(Copenhagen), who individually examined the post-mortem opinion
found it not acceptable.
Whilst it is true that the stated opinions were given prior to
the creation of the NBFM, they still have relevance to the petition
for a new trial. We have noted that the NBFM in it's general
official description emphasises "high quality and the individuals
legal rights" as an obvious goal for the organisations actions.
It is also known that the board in certain cases has done - and
does judge on the initiative of the individual. We request
now that the NBFM examines the above-mentioned opinion using
the high quality criteria that applies for its forensic activities.
Such an examination is our
only practical chance of an objective judgement of the two opinions,
which for us has had a decisive importance and influence over
our lives and has caused the mass media and the general public
to believe that we are guilty of a cutting-up murder.
The National Social Welfare
Board's judicial council, which was never given the chance to
review these opinions, does not react on the request of individual
private persons as is well known. From the point of view of individual
citizens it is necessary that some party within the judicial
system adopts responsibility for the judgement of questionable
forensic opinions, since incorrect or unscientific opinions would
otherwise never be questioned or put right. The National Board
of Forensic Medicine is probably in practice the only authority
that in this case can carry out such an expert quality scrutiny.
2. The first opinion (d:no.
F 3726/ 1986) by the medical legal expert Jovan Rajs concerns
a comparison between on the one side, a number of asserted statements
of mine (Allgén's) daughter, when she was about two and
a half years old, and on the other side a number of post-mortem
findings in several cases of cutting-up murders, including the
da Costa case. According to forensic expert Jovan Rajs's opinion
the comparison between what the child was asserted to have said
agreed well with the way Catrine da Costa's body had been cut
up. The stated opinion therefore strengthened the credibility
of the child psychiatric examination, which was of the probability
that the child of one and a half years of age in the presence
of her father witnessed the cutting-up of a female body.
"The child's story"
was quite frankly the main evidence, when we were wrongly charged
of the murder and later accused by the County Court in Stockholm
of cutting-up the dead body, even though we had been freed from
the accusation of murder. As is shown from the petition for review
it is now clear that my (Allgén's) daughter was by no
means present at the asserted incident, which had never happened.
The other opinion (d:no. F
4032/87) also made by Jovan Rajs emanates in a similar
way from verbal statements and schematic markings on a form with
an outline of a human body, which was arrived at in police interrogations
with a married couple who owned a photo shop. The couple contacted
the police in the autumn of 1987, after the evening papers had
published that the police suspected it was possible photographs
of the cutting-up of Catrine da Costa's body three years earlier
could have been taken.
The forensic expert Rajs has
compared the post-mortem findings in the da Costa case with
the photo shop couple's recollection of the processing of a film
roll from around that time and the observations they said they
made in connection with that. As is known no such photographs
have ever been found (apart from the photos taken by the police
obviously and the Institute for Forensic Medicine's own
photographs from the post-mortem).
According to Rajs's opinion
several similarities between the photo shop couple's recollections
and that of the post mortem findings of the da Costa case could
be seen. The opinion has influenced the Court's judgement of
the credibility of the photo shop couple's witness information
and the probability that the asserted pictures had been those
of Catrine da Costa's dead body.
3. Not until several years
after completion of the trials against us has information from
the police examination come to light. From this it cannot be
said that Jovan Rajs's involvement in the police examination
and his subsequent opinions had been arrived at in an objective
manner and from a strict forensic expert consideration. Quite
contrarily there may be observed a tendentious attitude that
has been used to strengthen the insufficient circumstantial evidence
made against us and thereby increase the possibilities for a
conviction in the murder charge.
As one of the causes of this
lack of objectivity the working relationship between Rajs and
the undersigned Teet Härm stands out, a relationship that
is marked by our close contact at my work and the situation that
in work with my doctor's thesis I had Rajs as a tutor. From a
taped police interrogation during the autumn of 1984, in which
the police inspector Allan Bäckström speaks to Rajs's
wife Dina Rajs, it is clear that the married couple Rajs felt
very worried that Jovan Rajs's academic career could be damaged
due to the circumstances that he had a close contact with a colleague
suspected of murder.
To further underline the invalidating
position that this relation brought about, and Rajs's personal
engagement in the murder investigation against his previous colleague
and candidate for a doctorate, it is necessary to recapitulate
what is now known concerning Jovan Rajs's various roles in the
We would like to emphasise
that the statements, that we make in the following, are extracted
from verifiable material in the police investigation of the cutting-up
case that commenced during the summer of 1984 and was more or
less completed seven years later in 1991. Some of the information
has also been obtained from the book that Jovan Rajs, together
with the writer Kristina Hjertén, published in 2001 ("Ombud
för de tystade" "Voice for the Silenced",
Norstedt's publishing house).
4. It was quite by chance (the
emergency duties roster at the Institute for Forensic Medicine)
that Jovan Rajs became responsible for the forensic examination
of Catrine da Costa's remains, when these were found in the summer
of 1984. From the information that Rajs gave in the beginning
to the police he was of the opinion that a saw had been used
to cut-up the body and that the perpetrator could have knowledge
of cutting-up, as in the case of a butcher. Rajs visited together
with police investigators a slaughterhouse to examine the method
used for cutting-up animals.
When I (Härm) in August
1984 was reported by my former father-in-law as the probable
murderer of my wife two years earlier and also possibly guilty
to the cutting-up of Catrine da Costa, the police concentrated
their preliminary investigations on me. Jovan Rajs was informed
relatively late in the autumn of the police's suspicion, and
not until after other colleagues at the Institute had made
vows of secrecy did the police tell him about an ongoing
investigation of his candidate for a doctorate (Härm).
That Jovan Rajs became furious
over the circumstances that he had not been told of information
regarding the preliminary investigation, but that many of his
colleagues at the Institute knew what went on, is something that
Rajs returns to several times in his contacts with the policemen
who were dealing with the investigation. It became clear that
Rajs experienced this as a lack of trust from the police.
When Rajs was eventually informed
in the middle of October 1984 of the police suspicion of me (Härm),
he at first categorically rejected all thought of any belief
that there could be reason for such suspicion. However, it did
not take long before Rajs completely changed his position and
instead began to search for evidence that I was really guilty
to the murder and the cutting-up. When he telephoned from a holiday
resort abroad to police assistant Lars Jonsson to give his latest
theory on the case, he put forward his idea that I could have
carried out the cutting-up with my fiancé at that time,
who Rajs described as a qualified veterinary assistant.
Also this telephone conversation
was taped and is in the hands of the police. Afterwards Rajs
has tried to describe the telephone conversation as an attempt
to exonerate his candidate for a doctorate from suspicion. ("Ombud
för de tystade", "Voice for the Silenced"
p.231. "I rang up Lars Jonsson at the Division for Violent
Crime from the hotel reception and put forward my idea.
There is some hope for Teet."). Even in other situations
Jovan Rajs has tried to give the impression that he hoped that
his own post mortem examination would clear me. The actual facts
say something else.
5. When Rajs's post mortem
opinion was ready, a short time after his telephone conversation
with police assistant Jonsson (in November 1984) there was no
longer any reference to the original observations of sawing or
connection to animal slaughter in his reasoning. Instead Rajs
now maintained that the cutting-up was almost certainly the work
of someone or some persons, who had general medical knowledge
in surgery and orthopaedics also special knowledge in anatomy
and pathology techniques in other words in practice directly
pointing out me (Härm).
Based on Rajs's opinion as
grounds, I was arrested in the beginning of December 1984 and
sat in custody for five days. At the same time the police supplied
the mass media with information that depicted me as a probable
When it finally became known
that the police had no evidence that I was guilty to either the
murder or the cutting-up and I would therefore be let out of
custody, Rajs informed the police that it would be impossible
for him to remain in his position at the Institute for Forensic
Medicine in Stockholm if I was to be reinstated in my post. In
a police interrogation of Rajs some weeks after I had been released,
Rajs developed a theory that I could be guilty to several other
suspicious murders of women. He was dissatisfied that the police
were forced to release his colleague and doctorate candidate:
"I think if you do not establish his guilt, then you might
as well all go and hang yourselves" (police interrogation
8th. January 1985).
Probably the police's systematic
leakage of scandalous information about me to journalists and
the desire to throw suspicion on me in connection with my first
arrest, was aimed to make my reinstatement to my post impossible
or more difficult. This was just in case the preliminary investigation
should be discontinued through lack of evidence. In fact there
were police officers who had at an early stage allowed themselves
to be convinced that I was guilty. Also Rajs had threatened to
resign from his post if I was not barred from the Institute.
Rajs's participation in throwing
suspicion on me resulted in creating a scenario that developed
from the dialogue between the pathologist Rajs and the crime
department's inspector, where the Institute for Forensic Medicine's
premises appeared as the most likely scene of the crime simply
because the person that was considered most suspicious happened
to have access to that locality. If one continues that line of
reasoning then it is logical to believe that the cutting-up took
place during a weekend when the normal working activities did
not take place.
Jovan Rajs assisted the police
by finding out from the personnel whether anyone had noticed
anything unusual in connection with a weekend that could be said
to be related to the cutting-up scenario. Rajs himself then took
on another role in the murder investigation by saying that he
and his wife had seen me on the premises sometime towards the
end of spring.
6. It is evident from a taped
telephone interrogation with Rajs and his wife during the autumn
of 1984 that they both first of all had a very vague idea as
to when they believed that they had met me at the Institute during
the spring of 1984. Notwithstanding this, they eventually became
convinced that such a meeting must have taken place precisely
during Whitsun, i.e. the weekend that the police believed that
Catrine da Costa had been murdered. During the trials, which
began nearly four years later, Rajs took on the double role (at
the trials) of expert witness and eyewitness. The telephone interrogation
of Rajs and his wife referred to above was never written out,
which meant that important information was withheld from us and
our defence lawyers concerning the considerable uncertainty that
originally characterized the couple's statement relating to Whitsun.
It can be said in parenthesis
that both the undersigned Härm and Jovan Rajs regularly
went to the Institute even during weekends to carry out observations
concerning the research animals (rats), which were used in our
common research project. It is also known from the police interrogation
with Rajs, that Rajs had said to me that he himself would be
going in to the Institute during Whitsun and therefore I did
not have to bother to go in to my work place.
7. When I (Härm) eventually
was allowed to leave the prison after my first arrest in December
1984 Rajs made several attempts to prevent my return to the Institute.
He contacted the editors of the newspaper Dagens Nyheter and
the journal Forensic Science International to see to that my
name was taken away from articles that had been sent in before
the arrest and where Rajs's own name appeared.
He also summoned two policemen
Lars Jonsson and Allan Bäckström from Stockholm's Crime
Division, to see that I was reported to the National Welfare
Board for negligence concerning some forensic medicine investigations
that I had previously carried out.
This police report against
me was investigated on the National Welfare Board's behalf by
judicial council member Professor Gerhard Voigt. He did
not find any reason to question my handling of the reports, but
Voigt pointed out in passing that Rajs himself had been responsible
for one of the reported cases, therefore his criticism - if it
had been justified in such a case should be directed at
It is known that some of the
pathologists at the Institute for Forensic Medicine in Stockholm
were worried by Rajs's attitude towards me. Already in December
the head of the Institute Milan Valverius had written to the
leader of the investigation inspector Inge Reneborg and suggested
that the examination of the da Costa case should be handed over
to a pathologist, who was in no way connected to me, preferably
one from another Scandinavian country. Valerius also explained
in the police interrogation that he did not accept the conclusions
stated in the post mortem opinion by Rajs.
Valverius's request that an
independent pathologist should take over the investigation in
the da Costa case did not lead to any action by the police or
the prosecutor, possibly because the police felt that Jovan Rajs
wholeheartedly conformed with the police line of work.
A description of pathologist
Rajs's subjective relation to the person, whom he single minded
worked to obtain evidence against, is found in the book "Ombud
för de tystade" "Voice for the Silenced"(p.231
"For a time I was afraid
that he, if he suspected that I could expose him, maybe might
try and get rid of me, shoot or knife me in the back some dark
autumn evening. But my fear soon left me. I understood that he
did not bear any personal grudge against me; I was his respected
teacher who he now wanted as his antagonist. He created this
spectacle, without me no actors. He would rather have me alive
than dead. So I recovered my calmness and was drawn into the
play and the nightmares. And the only way to get through it all
was to work so that the truth would be revealed".
8. At the time when Teet Härm
had first been arrested, I (Allgén) was charged by my
wife of having sexually assaulted our two-year-old daughter.
This charge was investigated several times by doctors, psychologists
and police. I have consistently refuted that anything improper
had occurred and have also been found innocent of any such actions
by the County Court in 1988.
My wife however became absorbed
in trying to give rise to a charge against me. After almost half
a year of these fruitless exertions, she contacted the police
and declared that our daughter (then 2 years and 8 months old)
had now begun to say things, that my wife interpreted as the
child had witnessed the cutting-up of Catrine da Costa.
The police now, under the strictest
secrecy, set a child psychiatrist and a child psychologist, who
were both previously engaged in the incest investigation and
can therefore hardly be said to be unprejudiced, the task of
examining my wife's statements as to what our child was supposed
to have said and if this really could indicate that I (Allgén)
together with Teet Härm murdered and cut-up Catrine da Costa.
At the meeting, where the child
psychiatrist and psychologist received their instructions from
the police and prosecutor, Jovan Rajs also participated. When
the investigation about what became to be called " The Child's
Story" but which should correctly be called "The
Mother's Story" finally was handed over to the police
in the beginning of 1986, the police were strengthened in their
belief that Teet Härm and I had both together committed
the murder and the cutting-up of the body.
9. The child psychiatric investigation
is shown today as having been carried out unscientifically and
without any credibility. The final conclusions build upon the
incomplete and distorted material (the mother's verbal information
to the police), which the investigators had not bothered to compare
with the notes that the mother herself had made (i.e. about the
child's alleged original story). The child psychiatrist and psychologist
had not listened to the taped material that the mother had made
in consultation with the police of her talks with the child,
at all, indeed they had not even known about it.
When the child did not fulfil
the child psychologist's expectations, i.e. with a photo showing
that the child did not succeed in identifying Teet Härm,
who according to the mother's information should be the frightening
figure of "Uncle Tomt", then the psychologist - as
is shown from the taped witness interrogation in Stockholm's
County Court 1988 took the matter in her own hands and
told the child that the person in the photo (Teet Härm)
was exactly that man (Uncle Tomt) the child was supposed to have
talked about to the mother. The psychologist was then considered
to be able to observe that the child showed fear when looking
at the photo of Teet Härm.
The conclusions of the child
psychiatrist's investigation is built upon a tendentious and
partly distorted selection of the numerous assertions from the
mother that have come forth during police interrogations and
whose reliability today must stand as nonexistent. By request
of the Administrative Court of Appeal in Stockholm, expert witness
psychologists Hellbom and Holgerson carried out an investigation
of the child's alleged utterances (Witness psychological expert
opinion, case nr. 3938-3939-1990, Administrative Court of Appeal
in Stockholm). In their stated opinion both the expert
witnesses repudiate categorically the conclusions in the child
Since Jovan Rajs was present
at the initial briefing that the child psychiatrist and the child
psychologist were given in connection with their commission in
the autumn of 1985, there can be said that there is reason to
believe that also the post mortem findings were aired on that
occasion. No written documentation of what was discussed at that
meeting was apparently made.
When later the child psychiatrist
investigation was complete, pathologist Rajs made in his turn
the above mentioned written opinion (F 3726/1986) concerning
the evidence of the conclusions in this investigation i.e. the
degree of agreement between on the one side the choice of statements
from the child's mother of what the child was alleged to have
said that the child psychiatrist picked out from the very considerable
interrogation material and on the other hand the findings from
the post mortem. This forensic opinion (F3726/1986) is thus based
on Rajs's own subjective choice of statements that the child
psychiatrist had already selected, a choice that in practice
would fit in with suitable observations in his own post mortem
For such an opinion to be seen
as fulfilling reasonable demands of factuality and objectivity,
they should according to our view not only show the details that
agree in both the sources (witness statements respectively the
post mortem opinion), but also those details that do not agree,
as well as those that cannot be judged, or shown. Further more
the judgement should obviously not only encompass a prejudicial
choice of the information, but all aspects that have been illuminated
in all sources.
However in Jovan Rajs's report
such an analysis is reflected only by it's absence. It is of
great significance for our judicial rights and certainly
also for the general credibility of Swedish Forensic Medicine
that this opinion of Jovan Rajs and the conclusions
that he presents are examined from objectively scientific criteria.
10. As a consequence of the
murder of Prime Minister Olof Palme in the beginning of 1986,
the investigation of the da Costa case was delayed for almost
a year. When the public prosecutor took it up again in the beginning
of 1987, the original investigators were discharged and other
police personnel without previous experience of the case were
directed to conclude the murder investigation.
That which was described as
"The Child's Story" became now with the support
of Jovan Rajs's opinion the prosecutor's strongest evidence
against us. The undersigned Allgén was apprehended and
arrested in October 1987, and the undersigned Härm some
weeks later. In connection with the seizure of me (Härm)
the child psychiatrist's investigation was leaked to the newspaper
Expressen, which also had a reporter and a photographer outside
my house, when I was arrested.
11. In the enormous media turbulence
that was created stories were spread such as that the police
suspected that the cutting-up of Catrine da Costa's body had
been photographed. Amongst the many informants who reported things
to the police were also the above named married photo shop couple.
They said they had received one, perhaps several film rolls,
for developing and copying from a male customer some years earlier,
probably in the summer of 1984. The pictures were said to have
represented a cut-up body. The personnel in the photo shop were
said to have reacted strongly and became sick. The police asked
the couple to obtain confirmation of this from their personnel,
but they did not find anyone that could confirm or remember the
The witness confrontations during the autumn of 1987 that were
carried out with the photo shop couple broke all criterion that
exist for the rule of law. The course of action was dictated
completely by the police with the obvious ambition to have us
pointed out. The documentation of the identifying of us, which
is now well known, shows that the police had used unlawful methods.
Pathologist Rajs assisted the
police a short time after that with the other captioned opinion
(above named F 4032/87), in which he compared imaginary "pictures"
(i.e. fantasy pictures from memory of the asserted photographs,
that had come out in the interrogation of the photo shop couple,
with the lines drawn by the couple on a form showing an outline
of a human body) with his own observations three years earlier
in the post mortem opinion concerning Catrine da Costa.
Also this opinion is marked
with the obvious ambition to strengthen the evidence against
us, using loose speculation without any scientific ground. Jovan
Rajs clearly refrains from reporting any facts which do not agree
with the hypothesis the police have or that shows unclearness
in the examined material.
It is obvious that the opinion
has been created for one reason only: to strengthen the belief
that a film roll purporting to represent Catrine da Costa's cut-up
body in fact had been left for development at the photo shop
in Solna and that the photo shop couple had in fact seen these
For the same reason as has
earlier been named, we request that even this opinion be examined
using criteria that ought to be valid for all forensic medical
opinions within the framework of the NBFM.
12. During the following prosecutions
the pathologist Rajs began to play a key role in his double function
as expert witness and also eyewitness. To support his understanding
that Catrine da Costa was the object of a sex murder and that
the body was then cut-up by medically educated and necrotomy
knowledgeable offender/s, Rajs urged among other things,
the study of characteristics of various types of cutting-up
murders (such as so-called offensive respective defensive cutting-up)
which were published by the German Professor Klaus Püschel
and his colleague Erwin Koops.
Afterwards it has been known
that Rajs also turned directly to Professor Püschel and
presented his post-mortem findings in the da Costa case in the
hope that he would obtain support for his conclusions from this
Professor Püschel's response
to Rajs shows that Püschel for his part would not have drawn
such conclusions of the post-mortem findings, as Rajs had done.
He would not as Rajs did have said that it absolutely
was about a murder. Nor would he have - as Rajs did maintained
that the body had been cut-up by some doctor or butcher. The
response from Klaus Püschel was in reality formulated as
a warning to Rajs.
The pathologist should not
be tempted to draw such conclusions that only the court is justified
to draw, when all the circumstances in the case can be weighed
against each other, Püschel pointed out. The pathologist's
role should be limited to strict pathologically based judgements
Despite Püschel's repudiation,
Rajs continued to refer to Püschel's study of cutting-up
murders as a support for his own speculative conclusions, as
if they had been confirmed by international pathological research.
We consider that there is reason to question whether Rajs by
his conduct broke the oath that he had made to the Court.
13. That Rajs tried to obtain
support for his speculations with an international authority
was due to the fact that his post-mortem opinion in the da Costa
case was earlier, on the request by the County Court, examined
by the National Social Welfare Board's Judicial Council, who
in all important points distanced itself from Rajs's judgements.
According to Rajs this was
not due to any doubt about his opinion, but that the three pathologists
in the council wished to damage him personally:
"Colleagues from the Judicial Council wish to destroy me
as a medical expert. Perhaps I can be thought of as paranoid
when suggesting this, but I do not care about that. I cannot
interpret it in any other way than that they are willing to sacrifice
the rule of law in the desire to get rid of me." (Quote
from "Ombud för de tystade", "Voice for
the Silenced." p249-250).
According to Rajs's own conception,
his colleagues aversion to him personally regularly causes the
Judicial Council to "act in such a way as to result in a
defence for the ones accused of murder," (i.e. p.250). An
important reason for the Judicial Council's actions towards
him, according to Rajs, was the fact that he was of Jewish descent
and from East Europe (Serbia), while one of the Judicial Council's
most experienced pathologists was born in Germany. Rajs has
told the prosecutor and others that this colleague is a Nazi
and it is for this reason that by repudiating his opinions this
colleague persecutes him.
14. According to what Rajs's
co-author Kristina Hjertén has told us, Rajs has also
spread rumours that Teet Härm was a Nazi and a necrophiliac.
This openness from Kristina Hjertén's side can appear
surprising, but this is related to a conflict between her and
Jovan Rajs before their book was published in 2001, a conflict
that is still unresolved.
15. It is probably known by
the NBFM's executive that one of the three pathologists in the
Judicial Council that examined Rajs's opinion in the da Costa
case was later requested by Rajs to change his standpoint in
a direction favourable for Rajs. If this was not done, Rajs threatened
that he would use his own influence within the Swedish Forensic
Medicine Association to sabotage his colleague's attempts to
stage an international forensic medical conference in Linköping.
Rajs carried out this threat, which led to Rajs's lack of being
freed from responsibility at the following annual general meeting
of the association.
16. The head of the Institute
for Forensic Medicine Milan Valverius had at the start of the
da Costa case tried to get Rajs replaced with another colleague
who was not in any prejudiced position to myself (Härm).
Rajs alleged later to the public prosecutor that Valverius had
broken the law of secrecy in the case of the "police investigation
of the assassination of prime minister Olof Palme" and had
leaked information on the post-mortem findings to a journalist
of the Dagens Nyheter.
This accusation led to a police
investigation against Valverius, who at that time became sick
with cancer. Though Valverius was freed, the accusation was of
course a huge insult and cast doubt on his professional integrity.
Valverius never returned to work at the Institute after this.
17. We know that the conflicts
within the medical forensic block, that have existed over a number
of years concerning Jovan Rajs's persona have been known to the
Board of Forensic Medicine executive for a long time and earlier
also to the National Social Welfare Board. Because this is known
we do not see any reason to go further into this subject.
Meanwhile there is another
aspect of Jovan Rajs's actions, which has a high degree of relevance
for our statement to the NBFM. This relates to Rajs's personal
contacts with journalists and debaters in the media, the way
he has used these contacts for his own devices and for the two
books that he has published. As a consequence of this he has
taken on a third role, as creator of public opinion.
It would seem that these contacts grew during the period of disputes
between Rajs and the Judicial Council, when the mass media pressure
was very great with the attention around the trials against us
18. The Judicial Council's
questioning of Rajs's stated opinion in the da Costa case contributed,
as we have understood it, considerably to the Court of Appeal's
decision, after six months period of arrest, of releasing us
in March 1988. The Council's standpoint seems to also have been
an important reason in the prediction concerning the outcome
of an eventual appeal of a conviction judgement in the County
Court of the murder charge against us.
When during the spring of 1988
it seemed that the collapse of the legal case against us in the
County Court would lead to that the case would be dropped, there
commenced a campaign with strong feminist attachment to create
a case for a new trial. The campaign was initiated by the prostitution
investigator Hanna Olsson, who in the public debate portrayed
the pathologist Rajs as a fearless man of truth, whereas his
colleagues in the Judicial Council were described as corrupt
and representing a patriarchal order of society, who were simply
trying to defend two of their accused colleagues.
When Hanna Olsson began working
on her book "Catrine och rättvisan" (Catrine
and Justice), and which came to create such public opinion
that resulted in ourselves being seen as perverse murderers,
Olsson wrote the forensic medical section in consultation with
Rajs, who now saw his opportunity through Olsson to criticise
his colleagues at the Judicial Council and at the same time put
forward his own assertions of the post-mortem findings.
That his instructions to Olsson
in relation to this was drawn up as a working document on the
institute's writing paper (journal number marked 6/90 and dated
21st February 1990) can be seen as strange. Evidently documents
concerning the da Costa case have since disappeared in some unknown
manner from the NBFM's departmental archives. If therefore an
archive copy of this document referred to above cannot be found,
we can furnish the NBFM with a copy.
The contacts with Hanna Olsson
made it possible for Rajs through a proxy to attack his noted
opponents within the forensic medicine collective. He has later
developed the same tactic with the TV journalist Janne Josefsson,
when that journalist tried to find support for his first perception
that the police severely mishandled a known violent drug abuser
(Osmo Vallo) when they arrested him. The post-mortem investigation
of the case could not show that the cause of death was due to
police excess assault.
Jovan Rajs appeared in the
Swedish Television's programme "Striptease" on the
initiative of Josefsson and declared that the police handling
of Vallo had most probably been the cause of Vallo's death. After
he had himself launched the suspicion of criminal infringement
on television, Rajs was contacted by the Public Prosecutor and
took upon himself the task to carry out a new post-mortem investigation
of the case (the third of it's kind), seconded by a colleague
Rajs's commitment in this criminal
case and the strong criticism aimed at his colleagues, who had
previously investigated the cause of death amongst them
several of the pathologists who had questioned Rajs's conclusions
in the da Costa case strengthened his position as a person
worthy to command attention in the public mass media.
In an interview by a feminist
culture editor of the socialist democratic idea paper Arena (No.3/2000),
Jovan Rajs declared that journalists who began to doubt our guilt
in the da Costa case should be thought of as "idiots".
It appears that Rajs now functions
as an advisor to journalists, who are suspicious that irregularities
have been carried out in connection with post-mortem investigations.
This is valid in the case of two journalists, who recently questioned
a post-mortem judgment carried out by a German-born doctor working
in the Stockholm area.
19. It is naturally quite legitimate
for a pathologist to carry out post-mortem judgements to serve
as a guide for investigating journalists. Likewise it is legitimate
for a journalist to seek expert knowledge from experts in pathology,
when for example, there exists suspicion that the authorities
are trying to cover up previous mistakes or to classify doubtful
There is a risk however that
there develops a symbiotic relationship, where the pathologist
and journalist in practice use each other in such a way that
justice is put in doubt.
If the pathologist feels that
he is being persecuted and is doubted by colleagues, which the
journalist in his turn questions, there is a danger that the
apparent independent expert will in actual fact be guided by
prejudiced opinions. The journalist on the other hand may be
possessed by his own mission to expose injustice by the authorities
and this unsatisfactory situation may give rise to the position,
where he (or she) does not have sufficient distance to his (or
her) own expert's judgements or the criticism that he expresses.
20. The problem as far as we
are concerned is acutely relevant. With support of Rajs and his
previous pathologist colleague Olle Lindquist (now paid off from
his service with the NBFM), the TV journalist Lars Borgnäs
caught on to Jovan Rajs ideas that I (Härm) am a serial
killer, who has not only murdered Catrine da Costa, but also
my wife and several women prostitutes. These theories, that the
police have not felt any reason to attach any truth to, have
resulted in four programmes each an hour long in the Swedish
TV programme "Uppdrag granskning", "Mission
Inquisition" during 2001-2002.
These theories have also recently
been presented in the book "Sanningen är en sällsynt
gäst", "Truth is a rare guest," (Norstedt's
2003), where Lars Borgnäs has devoted a considerable amount
of space to spread defamatory rumours about myself (Härm)
and in practice about us both, as we are in the eyes of the public
considered as brothers in crime.
If someone has as I (Härm)
during 20 years been scandalised in the media and slandered by
people, who are convinced that I must be a perverse perpetrator
of an outrage, then it is probably not very difficult to gather
all this defamation into a catalogue of alleged character failure.
I am sure someone from my circle of friends or acquaintances
who know me better could compose an equivalent list of positive
21. When the journalist Lars
Borgnäs recently (27th November 2003) presented his book
at the Akademibokhandeln (Academy book store) in Stockholm,
also present was Jovan Rajs who earlier had appeared in
the TV programme with Borgnäs.
There is an ongoing systematic
campaign to cast suspicion on us and to try to make it impossible
for us to obtain a new trial in the Swedish Supreme Administrative
Court. The National Organisations on call for Women and Girls
in Sweden have urged their 8000 members and sympathisers to write
to the court and protest against our request for a new trial.
At least one journalist plus our legal representative Professor
Emeritus Anders Agell have been telephoned by a person, who asserted
that I (Härm) am a psychopath and serial murderer. This
is an official at the NBFM - chemist Gunilla Wetterling
who in this way spreads the slander further. She states that
she has been employed at her work place in Linköping for
thirty years and this enables her to be able to guarantee that
Jovan Rajs is a reliable pathologist.
22. It is our absolute belief
that this course of events, which has had such catastrophic consequences
for us both and for our nearest relatives, would never have occurred
if the investigation had been carried out by a pathologist, who
worked objectively and who worked within normal forensic medical
considerations. But instead Jovan Rajs let his own personal motives
and his subjective considerations characterise his engagement
in the case. This created repercussions not only in the police
investigation but also for the mass medial reflection of the
Easily aroused suspicions against
colleagues and also towards individual policemen, who Rajs had
come in conflict with, resulted very quickly in hateful accusations
of the type for example that colleagues Professor Gerhard Voigt
and Associate Professor Robert Grundin were exposed to. The portrait
that Jovan Rajs gives of himself in his book ("Ombud för
de tystade" "Voice for the Silenced")
gives a picture of a person continually ready to defend himself
against real or illusory questioning by those around him.
In the criticism of Rajs, which
has been presented publicly by several of his pathologist colleagues
(see Dagens Nyheter Debate 1st June 2001), one is warned for
his basic approach in his judgements in pathology. Rajs stands
out as an expert, who has already from the beginning drawn his
conclusions of investigations that have as yet not been carried
out, and therefore satisfies himself only with such facts that
support his original convictions.
Precisely these serious weaknesses
characterise, according to our understanding, the two opinions,
that we now request to be examined by the National Board of Forensic
With regard to the very special
problems that have been shown above, a copy of this paper is
being sent to two of the members of the Board of Forensic Medicine's
committee, namely Professor in Psychiatry Marie Åsberg
and President of the Court of Appeal Gunnel Wennberg. Also the
National Social Welfare Board and the Swedish Supreme Administrative
Court will be sent a copy with reference to our petition request.
If any member from the Board
of Forensic Medicine wishes to have copies of the attachments
to our petition we are willing to supply copies of these.
Stockholm 18th December 2003.
Attached: Petition for a new
trial to the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court together with
register of attachments. (Not included here).
The National Board of Forensic
Medicine has in January 2004 in a short answer to Thomas Allgén
and Teet Härm stated that the Board is not empowered to
examine Jovan Rajs's actions, as the authority does not have
the right to act on behalf of private individuals.
For more information concerning this case see also the article
by Professor Lennart Sjöberg on this website: "A case
of alleged cutting-up murder in Sweden: Legal consequencies of